Saturday, 15 October 2011

Silvana Franco's Recipe for Month of Mushrooms: Pot Roast Chicken with Mushrooms and Marsala

October is the 'Month of Mushrooms', which are in season and at their best right now. I was contacted by a representative for The European Mushroom Growers who have organised the campaign to get us all eating mushrooms when they're at their best. They've sent me some recipes to look at, but I chose the one that I thought you'd all enjoy the most, snuggling up to a bowl of as the evenings darken.

Some mushroom facts:
  • They are a natural source of B Vitamins and minerals, one 80g serving counts as one of your five a day.
  • They're also a natural source of selenium, which is important for the body's immune system.
  • Mushrooms are low in calories and fat
  • They also contain Vitamin B5 which helps the body release energy from our food
  • Mushrooms are also a natural source of folic acid.
Celebrity chefs and food personalities have backed the campaign, including Ed Baines, Silvana Franco and Sophie Conran. This recipe is by Silvana Franco and it's a real autumnal, cosy dish, combining the classic roast chicken with flavours of woody mushrooms and marsala wine. Enjoy!

For more mushroom-related recipes visit

Pot Roast Chicken with Mushrooms and Marsala - by Silvana Franco


This is an incredibly simple, practical, yet very stylish way to cook a whole chicken. The finished dish is juicy and tender and the sweet mushroom juices make a wonderful gravy. Marsala is an Italian fortified sweet wine, if you prefer you can use sweet sherry instead.

Fat (g)
Of which saturates

Carbohydrate (g)
Of which  sugars (g)
Fibre (g)
Salt (g)
One of your 5-A-DAY


Preparation: 5 mins

Cooking: 1hr 30 mins

Serves: 4-6

Costing: £1.98




1.5kg/3.2lb free range chicken

8 shallots, halved

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish

500ml/17floz hot chicken stock

150ml/1/4pt Marsala

250g pack crimini mushrooms

15ml/1tbsp cornflour mixed to a paste with water

fluffy mashed potatoes or buttery risotto, to serve




1.      Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Place the chicken breast side up in a casserole dish or small roasting tin and add the shallots, garlic, thyme, stock, Marsala and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and roast for 1 hour.

2.      Remove the lid or foil and stir in the mushrooms. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or until the chicken has browned and is completely cooked through.

3.      Transfer the chicken to a warm serving dish and leave to rest for 5 mins. Place the casserole or roasting tin on the heat, add the cornflour and bring to the boil, stirring until the gravy thickens. Serve with creamy mash or buttery risotto.


Cooks tip:

·         Any leftovers will make delicious and freezable pot pies. Shred the meat from the bones and stir back into the mushroom and Marsala gravy. Spoon into small pie dishes or large ramekins and top with a puff pasty lid (use sheet of ready rolled) bake at 190, Gas 5 until puffed, golden and piping hot.

·         Always take meat out of the fridge at least 1 hour before roasting so it will cook evenly and not spend the first 20 minutes in the oven coming to room temperature.

Thank you to the European Mushroom Growers for providing this recipe.

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